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The Fate of the Artist: Collector's Edition (Alec #5)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  366 ratings  ·  54 reviews
In this pseudo-autobiography, the subject of the memoir has vanished without a trace. Through six separate threads, each on typographically and stylistically distinct, a private investigator tried to discover the artist's fate through false trails, family and daily life reenactments, and even an imaginary Sunday comic strip. As the narrative threads intersect and colllide ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by First Second (first published April 1st 2006)
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Cool and curious, this "autobiography" is more akin to an art installation by the late Joseph Beuys, e.g., or some of Beck's earlier compositions than it is to my ideas about story or even graphic novel. This is a book in pieces -- a bunch of interpolated yet recurring texts, comic strips, photo panels, watercolor scenes, sketches, interviews -- that have something to do with their maker, the artist Eddie Campbell.

It's a really cerebral, weird, and challenging experience. Read it, yeah, but read
A waning artist and his fate. It's a common story, I sense.

The most memorable thing about this is the mix of aesthetic styles (previewed on the cover). There are prose sections, comic sections, comic strip sections, more graphic novely bits, and at least one interview using photographs. And it does all blend seamlessly to tell one tale.

It just wasn't a particularly memorable tale. Insecure white male cartoonist who's getting older.
Apr 10, 2007 Bryan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comix Nerds, Arts Nerds, Book Nerdz
Has Eddie Campbell lost his shit? Eddie Campbell has always been a sentimental favorite for me. I straight up ripped off his work for an AP Comp assignment in high school. He, along with Bukowski and Li Po, made me romanticize drinking before I ever drink, drank, drunk.

This book is a formal experiment, an attack on Scott McCloud's definition of comics, the detritus of an attempted History of Humor that he never completed, a prose/photo/comic assemblage, and, clearly, a total mess. But still char
Christina Wilder
An amazing and brilliant look at a brilliant artist (and disgruntlement).

I was excited to read this book and the interesting mixed media approachit used (combination of comics, photos, text, illustrations), and saw potentially something mind-blowingly awesome.

But the more I read, the less I got the plotline and deeper meanings that Eddie Campbell was trying to get across, and eventually, I put the book down.
You can examine your life a bit too closely, and you can make the mistake of thinking other people will care about what you find.
Sang seniman, bernama Eddie Campbell, tiba-tiba merasa muak pada karya-karyanya, dirinya sendiri, dan para penggemarnya. Sehingga pada suatu hari ia menghilang begitu saja. Seorang detektif yg bertugas menyelidiki hilangnya sang seniman memulai pencariannya di kediaman Campbell dengan mewawancarai istri dan anak perempuan Campbell yg tertua, Hayley. Demikianlah buku ini dimulai, berbentuk prosa yang dituturkan oleh si detektif; ditampilkan dalam teks yang diselingi ilustrasi kecil di sana-sini. ...more
Eddie Campbell's pseudo-autobiography. Full of different types of graphic novel - comic -type stuff: real pictures of his daughter with word bubbles, fake newspaper strips, watercolors with drawings paper clipped to them. Regular typed prose.

The premise is that this autobiography contains no appearance of the author himself. It's kind of like Hemingway's TRUE short stories, I suppose. Half way through it I was pretty enamored with the book, but at the end the momentum of the thing kind of got l
Eddie Campbell offers an odd take on the concept of biography. Writing as if he has disappeared, Campbell uses collage, typography, photography, doodles, and newspaper strips to catalog the history of himself as seen through others. Each chapter takes a fictional detective deeper into the mindset of a visual and linguistic artist. A photo interview with Hayley Campbell about her father's viewpoints shows how similar and different family can be. Discussions with the wife in cartoon style reveal h ...more
Victorian/Australian/Gothic found art 'illustrated' GN that includes a murder mystery as a way of the artist painting an autobiographical portrait of himself. Unique, which is hard to find in Graphic Novels these days.
Michael Lee
I love Bacchus, the Eyeball Kid, Alec, and almost everything that Eddie Campbell does, but this one was a little too abstract for me. Maybe it needs a couple of readings to truly understand and appreciate it.
Sophisticated story lines, excellent drawings and lettering, overall a very strong effort. I need to see more by this writer/illustrator.
In The Fate of the Artist Eddie Campbell tries out a whole host of half-baked ideas: an investigation into his own disappearance told in prose, comic scenes from his life (but with his own part played by an actor), little snippets from imagined newspaper funnies, and odd digressions into art and music history. Sound confusing? It is. That's not to say that The Fate of the Artist doesn't have its enjoyable moments. We still get the whimsical look at his home life that makes the Alec comics so end ...more
May 28, 2007 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who hate "persepolis"
Eddie Campbell continues to detonate and deconstruct the idea of "comics" and "sequential narratives" while spiralling closer and closer to brilliance. "The fate of the artist" is a meta-memoir mixed with an incomplete history of humor and peppered with a bunch of weird Sunday Funnies-esque comic strip pastiches that mirror and augment the main story. There's actually very little "comic art" here - instead, there's a ton of watercolor painting, assembled photographs, and some sketchwork. It's on ...more
The first of Campbell's books published by First Second, this was also the first color work I'd seen from the artist. Anyone who has read Campell's Alec books will be in familiar ground here, and for anyone who hasn't read them, imagine a somewhat magical roman á clef with the author poking fun mostly at himself. The fully-painted artwork is a real treat here, especially after years of reading his work in black and white (and often on newsprint). The relationship with First Second seems to have ...more
Eddie Campbell deconstructs the "Alec Stories" (see THE YEARS HAVE PANTS), his own life, his work as an artist, and to some extent the idea of comics themselves. Full of wit and melancholy, and sporting lovely color production values, I don't think the whole thing ever really comes together (perhaps it's not meant to), but I like a lot of the parts, and I [particularly like the creator's ambition and risk-taking. This reader hopes THE FATE OF THE ARTIST is not so much a Coda to the ALEC stories ...more
Eddie Campell dissapears in this tale while his family ponder wether he is safe or not and discuss his mental health while revealing some pretty eccentric behaviour. Interweaved are snippets of stories from the world of arts over the years. Those bits can fuck off. Dunno if it is meant to be real or is made up?
Contains his usual artwork which to me looks like he is talented but can't actually be arsed putting much effort into most pictures. TFotA also contains a bit of mixed media as well, photo
My first and very last Eddie Campbell. Mediocre drawings by a grossly immature person, all about himself, with a sense of humour so weak that it didn't even make me vaguely smile, not even once. The only thing I liked was the messy range of typographic styles. But the content ... oh, the horror! It can be summarized in the following statement: "I'm an artist! I have therefore the right to be a lazy self-obsessed ass!". Only loser seems to be anybody who, in the real world, actually has to live w ...more
Ni recomendada para esnobs.
Quite good, but defies most conventional explanations. The best I can come up with is "a sort of semi-autobiographical Griffin & Sabine-ish story in mostly-comics form." A bit unwieldy, perhaps, but as accurate as I can get. The mixing of styles - prose, traditional comics, newspaper strips, a bit of fumetti - may be jarring for some, but the end result is a very nice package. The story might not light your world on fire, but the experiment itself very well may.
Dec 22, 2013 Beckie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2006
i read this last night, so i may as well put it up here. it's a graphic novel, but has some pages of text interspersed with newspaper-style comic strips, photos and other drawings. the story is that the author has gone missing and a detective is interviewing his family, so most of the book is descriptions of his behaviour and character. i enjoyed it, but i think i missed the undercurrent of "deep despair" that the publisher's weekly reviewer saw.
Jul 26, 2007 Lucy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2006
i read this last night, so i may as well put it up here. it's a graphic novel, but has some pages of text interspersed with newspaper-style comic strips, photos and other drawings. the story is that the author has gone missing and a detective is interviewing his family, so most of the book is descriptions of his behaviour and character. i enjoyed it, but i think i missed the undercurrent of "deep despair" that the publisher's weekly reviewer saw.
Campbell seems to enjoy writing about his life. I didn't really care for the narrative, but some of the vignettes were enjoyable. I could have done with less art history, I am now thinking that the overly dull architectural tour of London in "From Hell" is more Campbell than Moore. I really enjoyed the use of multi-media in the illustrations. Also some of the comics I quite liked especially the "Honeybees".

Look, I love metapraxis like it's nobody's business, but this was pushing it a bit for me. I feel like his self-descriptions were a bit indulgent. The photography segments didn't work for me either. Too literal. I don't know ... I haven't seen his work before, I'd certainly try another. The style of his work feels a bit naff to me as well (dated? is that a bit mean?). Had a lot of good moments though.
Andrew Weiss
Deeply inventive at the level of form, and for that reason very intriguing. For whatever reason the content or affective tone didn't grab me overall, but definitely had interesting moments. I couldn't quite parse the relationships or perspectives being thought out in it -- your mileage may vary. I generally had the feeling of nearly being able to grasp something, but I couldn't quite get there.
The artist known as Eddie Campbell eludes expectations by excusing his presence from his own autobiographical work. In other words, autobiography from the point of view of others in his life, but drawn by him. One detects a faint hee-hee from beyond the sides of the panels. Is it progress or cowardice? Is it vision or frustration?
I guess I just didn’t get it. Despite a few funny lines, I found this book to be dull and highly disorganized. I did get a chuckle after reading of the author’s wish to deposit his own corpse in the 741.5 (comic book) section of the library—but I found myself wishing to do the same after slogging through this mess.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Nov 14, 2008 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides marked it as decided-not-to-read
This looked interesting (yay for judging a book by its cover?), but ... the author is right, it is difficult to obtain sympathy for the condition of an artist who has "come to despise his art, his self, and his readers." It might be possible to entertain by discussing this, but this book does not succeed.
Feb 07, 2008 arafat rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of graphic novels, in particular.
Plenty of great sketches, a sort of comic bricolage. Good humor, too. In general, explores the question of "being-in-the-world" for artists (are they necessarily messy and irresponsible in life?), using the autobiographical story of the author/artist's own mysterious disappearence. Quite enjoyable.
What a weird, ambitious book. Interesting and multi-faceted. I'm not sure what else to say about it because really, the ending got so confusing, I'm not sure I know what happened. But still, an interesting read, both light-hearted and dead serious in its look at art.
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Eddie Campbell has earned an international following. For over 25 years, he has blazed a trail in the world of graphic novels, and his work has earned nearly every honor in the field, including the Eisner, Ignatz, and Harvey awards.

With Alan Moore he created the towering opus From Hell, later adapted by Hollywood. Among the multitude of solo works he has produced, the epic series Bacchus brings th
More about Eddie Campbell...

Other Books in the Series

Alec (6 books)
  • Alec: The King Canute Crowd
  • Alec: Three Piece Suit
  • Alec: How to Be an Artist
  • Alec: After the Snooter
  • The Lovely Horrible Stuff
The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard Alec: The Years Have Pants The Black Diamond Detective Agency Alec: How to Be an Artist Alec: The King Canute Crowd

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